Instructions for Persuasion Paper
The class paper is intended to help you incorporate and channel the variety of critical thinking skills you would have acquired throughout the semester into one brilliant paper. You will select a topic from the list below and write a persuasion paper on your conclusion to the topic that is meant to change the attitudes, beliefs, or feelings of your classmates, just like we constantly seek to influence those we interact with on a daily basis –in our relationships, our employers, or during privileged discussions. In order to persuade others, dare I say manipulate, we must present evidence that will convince them to lay aside their own opinions and biases and accept our conclusions. Imagine that the paper you will be writing is meant to provide the evidence you will use to do some persuading; in this case, persuading your classmate with a conflicting viewpoint who will help grade your paper.
Specifically, here is what you need to do as you write the paper:
1. Begin by first introducing the issue raised by the question and clearly taking and stating your position/conclusion on the issue.
2. Next, introduce your reasons in support of the conclusion or position you take on the issue that is raised by the question.
3. Use the polled results of a survey or surveys on the particular issue, topic or individual that you choose to write about to support your reasons.
4. You can also introduce other forms of evidence, in support of your arguments, which you will discover and learn about in the readings as we go along. You should present several value assumptions and reality assumptions in support of your arguments.
5. Be sure to include elements of persuasion such as logos, pathos or ethos in your paper as appropriate.
6. You should make a case for the credibility of the polling agency that conducted one or more of the surveys that you incorporated into your paper in support of your arguments. So, for example, if you agree with the results of a survey, mention other sources that agree with the survey and other evidence you have used in your paper. Incorporate everything you will have learned about polls and surveys in Chapter 5.
7. You should also mention at least one survey or differing point of view that contradicts your arguments and the opinion polls you include in support of your argument. Explain why the other side(s) is wrong on the issue you are addressing in order to strengthen your conclusion/opinion and the evidence you have incorporated is right on the issue.
8. To round up, begin with an introductory paragraph that contains a clear conclusion –this is your main idea, your thesis, the stand you have taken on the issue (you must take a stand!). Provide three to four major points that support the conclusion –these are your reasons. Provide evidence to support the reasons in the form of the survey results on the issue –over time and from various organizations as reported on pollingreport. Provide a paragraph for each assumption that you make and end with a paragraph that summarizes your beliefs. You should ensure that your arguments are free from reasoning errors, just like you will have learned over the course of the semester. You can refer to the following article from pollingreport as an example or a guide: “A Presidency on Life Support” by John Kenneth White. Click on the following link or copy and paste it in your browser to read the article https://www.pollingreport.com/whitejk.htm.
9. Note that the element of each requirement for this paper comes from the chapters in your course text and the various topics we have covered or would have covered by the end of the last week before the paper is due.
• You are required to use 5 or more peer-reviewed sources for this paper, which you need to reference in your work. Two of your sources must be books. Three additional sources must be articles published in peer reviewed journals. Do not use any item from Wikipedia to document your work as this will result in disqualification of your work or a grade reduction, at a minimum.
Pollingreport.com serves as a reservoir where the results of polls on diverse national and international issues are deposited on a daily basis. You are required to go to www.pollingreport.com or other polling databases of your choice and find a survey report on the topic or issue that you select to write about. Note that your choice has to be cleared by me to ensure that nobody else is sharing your line of argument or your stance on the issue.
Poll results that are reported on the homepage of PollingReport change on a daily basis, but past results can be easily brought up from a search of the archives. So, the moment you settle on the poll results for a topic you are writing about, note that link down, click on it and highlight and paste the results of the surveys on that topic in a word document and save for your use. But do not worry. If you do not want to immediately save the poll results for that day, just note the link down so you can search for it in the archives when you are ready. You can also reference it easily so that someone grading your paper can go to that link and take a look at the poll results you report.
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